Local Current Blog

Friday Five: The Current’s Birthday Party edition!

Kerry Alexander performs with Bad Bad Hats at The Current's 11th Birthday Party at First Avenue. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Tonight and Saturday, The Current staffers are headed down to First Avenue to celebrate the station’s 14th birthday with hundreds of friends and fans. Saturday’s show is sold out, but some tickets remain for tonight’s party, featuring Scrunchies, Rayland Baxter, Bad Bad Hats, and the Suburbs. To pump us all up for two nights of great music, I’ve gathered videos from a sampling of Birthday Party acts below. Enjoy the tunes, and see you at First Ave!

Bad Bad Hats – “Nothing Gets Me High”

“Midway” is the obvious pick from these Birthday Party alumni, but I wanted to cue up a newer single Bad Bad Hats might play at First Ave tonight. “Nothing Gets Me High” is from the polished, hooky Lightning Round.

Rayland Baxter – “Casanova”

As the only non-Minnesota based act on either Birthday Party line-up, Rayland Baxter might need extra time to feel at home at First Ave. Yet something tells me he won’t have any problems during tonight’s set. This video belies his goofy charisma, not to mention the extreme catchiness of his music.

Scrunchies – “Wichita”

Scrunchies will launch the party tonight, loosing a blast of guitar fury and Laura Larson’s whip-crack “a-ha-ha”s on the dedicated folks who show up early.

J.S. Ondara – “Revolution Blues”

J.S. Ondara performs “Revolution Blues” among other works of art at Minnesota’s largest art museum, Mia. The Current’s own Nate Ryan directed the video, a slowly swirling feature in rich black and white. Ondara’s first album, Tales of America, comes out Feb. 15 via Verve Records, and we’re likely to get a taste during his Saturday set.

Porcupine – “Dead Mint Club”

Porcupine offer a blast from the past in “Dead Mint Club,” their 2010 video promoting 2009 album The Trouble With You. Since the last turn of the decade, Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü has replaced David Reinders on bass, and the trio released What You’ve Heard Isn’t Real in Nov. 2018. Expect to hear new and old tunes at First Avenue on Saturday.